Hurtigruten Norway enlists top local chefs for onboard fare

Local cuisine to to hero new culinary experiences

Fishing in Svolvar, Norway

Two of Norway’s most exciting chefs will give guests new dining experiences based when cruising the Norwegian Fjords with Hurtigruten.

Award-winning chefs Astrid Regine Nässlander and Halvar Ellingsen will develop menus, inspire employees and contribute to the training of Hurtigruten’s chef apprentices. Nässlander runs Høst food workshop in Steigen in Nordland, while Ellingsen is behind the gourmet restaurant Kvitnes Gård in Vesterålen.

Farm visit in Lofoten, Norway | Credit: Agurtxane Concellon

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Hedda Felin, CEO of Hurtigruten Norway said: “On board Hurtigruten, our guests get world-class dining experiences based on short-haul Norwegian products. Astrid and Halvar share our food philosophy, with strong local roots and ingredients from the areas we sail through.

“With this collaboration, we can use their knowledge to take our food concept to the next level and develop new dishes and inspire the next generation of Hurtigruten chefs.”

Hurtigruten Norway has established ties with fishermen, farms, butchers, dairies and other small producers along the Norwegian coast.

Through the new collaboration, Hurtigruten’s new Culinary Ambassadors will continue this tradition and develop locally inspired and sustainable dishes that will vary with the seasons.


Gourmet success in Vesterålen

Hedda Felin, CEO, Hurtigruten Norway

After ten years as a chef in Oslo, Ellingsen moved home to Kvitnes farm in Vesterålen. The restaurant now has long waiting lists and is widely known for very high-quality food.

“Coming home to Northern Norway means a lot to me. It is also very nice and help to highlight the region in the way Kvitnes Gård has done since we opened in February 2020,” Ellingsen said.

Halvar Ellingsen | Photo: Yann Bougaran / Hurtigruten Norway

Kvitnes Gård is virtually self-sufficient in vegetables, meat, herbs and berries, and they use raw materials from Lofoten, Vesterålen and Senja.

“It is the ingredients that are the star of cooking and we do not hide them behind lots of techniques. The techniques we use are to take care of the food and give it character, such as smoking, salting, pickling and fermentation.”

The fact Hurtigruten shares the same food philosophy has been important for the collaboration.

“Hurtigruten has done a formidable job in recent years, there are few such large players who have managed to take such a big responsibility when it comes to local food.

“Hurtigruten is and has always been an important part of living along the coast in Norway. Here we have delivered goods and transported people. It has been the link in much of what has happened and will continue to be so for a long time. It is very nice to be able to contribute in the future,” Ellingsen remarked.

Local ingredients and knowledge

In Steigen by the Vestfjord, Astrid Regine Nässlander runs Høst matversted, a slaughterhouse where game from local hunters is slaughtered and processed into, among other things, the very special elk sausages with truffle seaweed from Lofoten that will soon be found aboard Hurtigruten’s ships.

Chef Astrid Regine Nässlander | Photo: Yann Bougaran / Hurtigruten Norway

“What drives me is the urge to show people what we have around us in this fantastic country. Food can be something other than what you get in the grocery store,” says Nässlander.

The award-winning meat producer picks up the raw materials she needs in the local area: she gets milk and eggs from the farmer, she gets meat from hunters.

“That the food on Hurtigruten represents the places you sail past, is an incredibly nice way to convey the coast and our country, and highlight the different tastes and traditions here. It resonates well with the way I work with food,” Nässlander added.

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